Today the CDC released new guidelines on home testing for Covid 19. Due to the low sensitivity of the tests in asymptomatic individuals they had previously recommended limiting their use to symptomatic individuals. Now with the surge of the Delta virus in various parts of the country and the emergence of the Omicron variant they are suggesting that home testing may be appropriate for use before holiday gatherings. They come in a box of two. Serial testing improves the ability to detect the virus.
- Added information on when and why to use a self-test. Self-testing is one of several risk-reduction strategies to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission. They may be used regardless of vaccination or symptom status.
- COVID-19 self-tests (also referred to as home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Self-tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.
- You can use self-tests, regardless of vaccination status, or whether or not you have symptoms.
- Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for performing the test.
- If you test positive, you should isolate and inform your healthcare provider, as well as any close contacts.
- Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.
- A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection and should stay home or isolate for 10 days, wear a mask if you could have contact with others, and avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else.
- A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected.